Who’s in charge?

Baby is!  I’m in charge of what he’s offered, but the ball is in his court when it comes to consumption. No poking or prodding a spoon into a clamped shut mouth. Just offer, and then don’t take it personally either way.

I’ve mentioned it over and over, but it’s really a point that needs to be hammered home when you take this approach – food under one is just for fun!

The one thing I’ve really noticed so far with Theo is that if he doesn’t feel like eating, he just won’t. In that regard I love baby led weaning because I’m not stressing over the fact that he was into breakfast but not into lunch or dinner. It’s not necessarily what we’re offering him, but whether he even feels like eating at all at that particular time.

I'll have a bit of this then.
I’ll have a bit of this then.

I wrote last summer about how Dominic had gotten into sandwiches. We send in a wrap, a small bagel, or a wholemeal sandwich with cheese & turkey in his lunch bag each day he goes to playschool. But it was never something he wanted as a baby – he used to look at them as a puzzle, something to pull apart and examine .

Today after a hectic morning at a local playcentre it was toasted sandwiches on the menu for lunch. I made Theo a little sandwich with the crusts off and he loved it. Crusts off so he didn’t just fill up on them, not because he couldn’t have them. He grasped it tight and it went straight in. I know well enough by now he would just let it fall to the ground and go back to gnawing a plate it if he didnt feel like eating.

I just put some cream cheese & some cheddar in it. I don’t think we’re ever going to have calcium issues in this house so it would be nice to veer away from cheese! I’m thinking avocado would be good, anything that “sticks” the sandwich together basically. Today was a bit of a hmm what’s in the fridge day.

I’d love to hear suggestions for a super healthy baby friendly sandwich filling?

Jill

Flag food.

I’ll have this, this and this.

Mama thought I didn’t really want much food and then she looked at her notebook and saw that I’m having about the same as my big brudder when he was a little baby.  I like green food, and white food and orange food.  I don’t know if it’s fun though, it’s kinda hard work sometimes I want to bounce in my jumperoo or practise my sitting up when we’re at dinnertime. If I could practise my sitting up at dinnertime then nobody could sit on me or fall me over or take my toy because nobody would be eating his dinner then.

Popeye Pasta
Good for me

The green food is spinach.  We had 2 things that was spinach that mama likes to make. One was popeye pasta. I tried to pop my eye out with a spoon I think that’s why it’s called that.  Dominic ate lots and lots but I just sucked my pasta and had some green.

Spanakopita
Everyone loves it

Then mama made the green pie that she made before, except she made ones for Dada Bear, Mama Bear and Doma Bear not just one big one.  Teddy Bear (that’s me!) just needed the inside bit on a spoon not all wrapped up like everybody else’s.

The white food is good it’s called nachurl yogurt. Everyone else eats colouredy yogurt, I eat mine from a big big tub all on it’s own or with some squished up apple mama cooked. I like that best on a spoon.

Oooh. Sweet potato wedges.
Oooh. Wedges.

Orange food is my favourite and it is the same as my plate.  Mama said she will give me lots of it again.  I had sweet potato wedges to squish up in my hand and my mouth.

Chomp!
Chomp!

Mama had to take some of the outside bit from the wedgey out of my cheek cos it wouldn’t come out and it wouldn’t go in to my tummy properly either. Then I had the same flavour all smushed onto a rice cake  at lunchtime.

No thanks.
No thanks.

There was carrotty bloop but I wouldn’t eat it. That’s because my big brudder wouldn’t eat it and sometimes I watch what he does and do it too.  Mama was a bit sad because she said it was delishus and Dada slurped it up too and sometimes Dada doesn’t like Mama’s dinner . I did eat some squashy chickpees though. Yum.

– Lil’ T.

Falling at the first hurdle, or a helping hand?

You’d think there wouldn’t be so many surprises the second time round. The learning curve with weaning of any kind is steep, as much for parents as for junior.

hey! this was a good plan mama
hey! this was a good plan mama

I can’t remember how Dom took to pre-loaded spoons.  But I know that he did master them, by a couple of weeks later than this stage with Theo.  In fact there’s a very cute video here. I’ve racked my brains and can’t think how it started, so I just went ahead and handed Theo a spoon  with an assortment of items (not at the same time) – porridge, bananacado, thick soup, and more often than not he flips the spoon and sticks the handle in his mouth.  So this evening, with a lack of anything else for dinner to give him, and parent no.2 not home I decided he could  have some of my massamam curry, with tofu, butternut squash and of course potato.  I use the Thai Gold brand of paste, which I’ve blogged about before here.

The pieces were in small cubes, and we’re not in pincer grip territory yet, so I thought I’d try the pre loaded spoon again. I gave it a wee mash up, to a good soft but lumpy texture, and added some natural yogurt to cool down the spice. FLIP off went the curry across the table and the spoon went in upside down.  I had a little lightbulb moment, he doesn’t know what he’s missing! I put some on the spoon, coaxed open that little mouth and SPOON FED him.  I did this 3 times with small amounts, then he shrieked when I took the spoon away.  You want it that bad baby?  Help yourself!  And he did, roaring indignantly each time I took the empty spoon back from him.

The spoon: it contains yummy stuff.  He just didn’t realise it.

Jill

Away we go!

My little Teddy bear is 6 months old since yesterday. Over the festive season we’ve been leaving bits and pieces in front of him, casual as you like, just to see what happens.  The kid is plenty big, he’s totally thriving on mama’s milk, and having been here before I know the extra logistics involved in your day to day life when baby takes a trip to solids-town.  So I was in no particular hurry to introduce this element to our reasonably unstructured days.


But I’m a compliant soul at heart – believe it or not I don’t rock the boat for the sake of it – and he will have a developmental check in a month.  They will ask is he eating 3 meals and seeing as he won’t be (at least not in the public health nurse’s understanding of such) then I want to be able to confidently present my healthy boy and proudly tell them the things he can eat rather than the things I feed him (there’s a difference). Then a mere month after that again he’ll be joining his brother in the crèche where spoonfeeding will definitely happen, so the kid needs to be at least used to some quantities of non boob milk based grub! And now that I’ve started, I’m actually quite enjoying it again.

No worries here – he’s totally into it after a really speedy learning curve.  I envisaged a couple of weeks of swiping things around the table, maybe picking some bits up.  Nuh-uh.  The guy is liking the new tastes for sure. He started on Christmas Eve, with banana, has progressed through sucking homemade hummus off pitta fingers, sharing a mandarin with his brother, having some teething relief with cucumber, enjoying a cheese omelette and then yesterday, on his 6 month birthday – well he plain ol’ robbed my apple.

With regard to making your own hummus I read this article on How to make perfect hummus in The Guardian, and stuck fairly closely to their “perfect” recipe. I used tinned chickpeas (as I do always), added more than a pinch of ground cumin, and added a good glug of olive oil while blending. They didn’t include ‘will it be eaten with a spoon by a nearly 3 year old and relished by a tiny tot and 2 grown ups equally?’ in their judging criteria, which I feel is a mistake. Because although I purport to serve up regular human food for all the family, really, that question rings in my head before every dinner time. Anyway, if they’d factored that in, *my* hummus would have been right up there with Nigella & Yottam Ottolenghi’s versions.

The thing I’m most concerned with right now is young Dominic.  He’s pretty tickled by the idea of his little brother eating food like all of us, so I’ve to drill into him that he shouldn’t ever give Theo food, that he needs to ask mama and dada if it’s okay for him and that we will give it to him. So while yeah, it’s absolutely fine for Theo to take my apple while he’s sitting on my lap – as happened in this picture – it’s not so good for him to share his snacks generously while I’m emptying the dishwasher/cooking/on Facebook/closing my eyes pretending it’s midnight and everyone is asleep.

Does anyone know of a place where I could buy eyes for the back of my head?

– Jill

Getting there.

Doms-first-food
The records clearly state…

I’m not organised enough to do meal plans, or write down when my children first got teeth, or what they weighed when, or when they hit any milestones. So it surprised me when I came across a notebook in which I diligently recorded nearly the first 3 months of what Dominic ate.  (I said diligently, I didn’t say neatly…)

I know for sure I didn’t know anyone in the flesh that had done baby led weaning, so I guess I needed a record both for myself and for skeptics. Makes me feel almost guilty about the very very laissez-faire attitude I’ve had so far with Theo. Plus ca change… it reflects my general parenting style I suppose.

Enough of the faux French, check back tomorrow morning for a wee post about how we’ve been getting on with Son Number 2.